Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Born Again for Life

On February 28th, I posted The Truth Hurts about the pro-life banner that was taken down in New York City because some people found it to be offensive. I ended that post with a prayer and am amazed at how quickly God has worked to answer that prayer...

Lord, give me a heart of compassion, a heart of love for all. Wake me up from the dread fear and sorrow that grips my heart in the presence of painful truths. Give me strength to cope and courage to turn the hearts of others so that everyone will value life, will give life, your greatest gift to us all. And please, God, don't ever let me grow comfortable upon hearing those words "My most recent pregnancy ended in abortion." Let me always feel the discomfort and pain that the loss of innocent life rightly deserves. Amen.

And then I promptly forgot that I had written that prayer and went on with my busy life.

This past Monday morning just a little over a week since I wrote that prayer, I received an email from Fr. Don Hying with only a few words-"Just wanted to share this with you." I was so deeply and immediately moved by what I read in his attachment that with his permission, I sent it to everyone I knew and then posted it here on this blog and sent the link to Deacon Greg Kandra at the Deacon's Bench. It wasn't long before the good Deacon posted Fr. Don's story as well.

But that wasn't enough. For I now knew that I had to do more. Sharing Fr. Don's story was one thing, and really it was quite easy for me to do, but now I felt that God was calling me to do more than just get the word out...God was calling me to act.

With those few words-"Just wanted to share this with you"- I heard the voice of God telling me to get ready to change my life, to be born again, because He was about to answer my prayer...

Way back when in 1976, I was a fifth grade student at Sacred Heart Catholic Grade school in the small city of Manitowoc, WI. My teacher encouraged me to enter a forensics contest with the theme "Together We Will..." My mother decided for me that I would speak about abortion. Truthfully, I think she really wrote the speech, "Together We Will Fight Abortion," for me. I took first place in the city's Optimist Club Oratorical Contest that year and went on to compete against several high school students in a zone competition with the same speech and won third place.

Following that I presented that same speech for several Catholic women's groups and then my nerves finally got the best of me and I asked my mom to say no the next time someone asked me to present it. The words that my mother wrote and the way in which I presented them were strong enough to win a contest and touch hearts way back then, but they weren't strong enough for me to live them. In the thirty-five years following fifth grade I never really did anything in my life to support the pro-life cause or to fight abortion.

Sure, I donated to Wisconsin Right to Life whenever they would call. Yes, my family and I stood along a busy highway holding pro-life signs each October for the annual Life Chain in our community. Of course, I have always voted pro-life. But those things are easy compared to actively praying outside of an abortion clinic, standing face to face with women who are about to kill the child within their wombs.

So, I called my friend Dave who organizes the Life Chain group for my parish. I asked him if he could help me get a group of people together to join in prayer with the 40 Days for Life campaign at the abortion clinic. Dave was eager to help and we arranged a date, this March 19th, when he and I and hopefully many others will join together in prayer with the purpose of saving lives. And it is my hope that March 19th will be the first of many days when I prayerfully witness for life at the abortuary.

And so, this Lent, my prayer, my fasting, my almsgiving-will all be offered to save the lives of those innocent, sweet, precious little babies. God is reborn in me each and every day. With every day that I wake to the morning light, rub my eyes and flutter my lashes, I am born again to God's love for me, God's gifts to me, God's life in me; but, those babies torn from their mother's wombs never get the light of day, the flutter of lashes, the chance to be born even once. For those innocent babies, for those mothers who swallow lies and carry shame and heartache instead of life, for those doctors and deathscorts and office workers who close their hearts to the truth-I will give my all this Lent.

7 comments:

  1. Yay, Anne! A born-again prayerful warrior for life! I just love that sweet baby picture at the beginning of your post...completely irresistable! I will keep your pro-life efforts in my prayers this Lent. I can just feel the tide turning in our country. Young people instinctively know there is something horribly wrong with the whole concept of abortion. May God's grace shower your efforts!

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  2. AMEN! Thanks for the wake-up call for those of us who do not do enough either. Bless you Anne!

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  3. Anne,

    The strings of grace that the good Lord puts in our lives is so amazingly beautiful! Wow!

    God bless

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  4. God Bless you for sharing your providential path to being a pro-life warrior. You are an inspiring witness, ALWAYS giving your ALL to God.
    I will also join you as my first time in front of a clinic tomorrow! I am full of many emotions..., beyond words. All for Jesus, through His most Holy Mother.

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  5. God bless you, Anne, and thank you for this inspiring post! I loved the sweet picture of the baby with the bow!

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  6. Anne, Beautiful post and inspiring to me. Prayers for a blessed Lent.

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  7. I find myself in the same situation this lent - wanting to take the next step. 40 Days for Life is very close to my workplace, so I hopefully will be able to join them this year (this is the first year they've been here).

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